It's taken me a surprisingly long time to notice this, but it just struck me that we have pentagrams as our "favorite" / "save" icon for questions.

enter image description here

Is this because we're all into heavy metal or is it a part of some deal we made with Lord Satan?

What I'm really hoping is that it's not going to be one of those things where they try to tell you that pointing in this direction we're only Wiccans / Pagans / whatever and only when it's upside down are we worshipping Satan.

  • 2
    There’s nothing extraordinary about it, I should think. All the SE sites (or at least most) have stars as their favorite icons. Even Pokemon Go does.
    – Adamant
    Nov 14, 2016 at 6:46
  • 1
    I favorited this.
    – Adamant
    Nov 14, 2016 at 7:04
  • Reading the title, I thought you meant the favicon.
    – SQB
    Nov 14, 2016 at 8:21
  • 2
    it's not a pentagram. It's captain america's shield.
    – KutuluMike
    Nov 14, 2016 at 10:30
  • @Adamant you mean you pentagramed it ;)
    – Hack-R
    Nov 14, 2016 at 15:17
  • 1
    Flagged to migrate to UX.SE Nov 14, 2016 at 18:19
  • 1
    This star existed way before the invention of Heavy Metal or Lord Satan...
    – Bebs V
    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:01
  • N.B. the pentagram has also historically been a Christian symbol, read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sep 28, 2018 at 2:23

2 Answers 2


Stars are commonly used to denote favorites

It’s not merely Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange that uses a star to denote favorites. The other stacks do, too. Here are the “favorite” icons for Worldbuilding, Meta Stack Exchange, and Physics:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Note that the physics icon is even in a circle.

They’re commonly used for this purpose in other contexts, too, such as in Pokemon Go.

You’ll note that the the design of the circle around our star is the same as that used for the voting arrows. It’s a general site aesthetic, not something particular to the favorite icon. As such, any association with any sort of religion seems unlikely.

  • 2
    Stars are used to denote favorites outside of Stack Exchange as well.
    – SQB
    Nov 14, 2016 at 8:22
  • @SQB - Yes, I mentioned that.
    – Adamant
    Nov 14, 2016 at 10:00
  • Okay, you may want to emphasise that a bit more, perhaps.You could include a screenshot of Chrome's bookmark / favourite icon. (Opera uses the other often used option, a heart).
    – SQB
    Nov 14, 2016 at 11:07
  • The circle and the lines probably contribute to the appearance. Which... frankly basically comes down to that our art design draws from Full Metal Alchemist sigils (or at least Alchemy in general), which are kind of on the mystical side of things.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 14, 2016 at 14:30
  • I know that stars are the most common SE favorite, but this is the only SE site I know where it's not just stars but pentagrams lol
    – Hack-R
    Nov 14, 2016 at 15:16

It's the combination of a few factors, really. On one hand, as Adamant pointed out, the use of stars for Favorite icons is pretty standard. It shows that something is special. The choice was also made to add circles around the voting buttons and favorite icons to provide consistency. Lastly, and this might be where the problem lies, the design does incorporate mystical elements. However, the intent is not to draw from existing religious influences, whether pagan or otherwise, but rather to employ generic "fantasy" sigils in addition to lines that look sort of sci-fi. As a result, yes, several of the icons look like they're some sort of alchemical diagram. Our logo has runes. However, the source of them is fictional and is not intended to have any sort of religious meaning.

So, long story short, no, you're not seeing things, really, but there's no intent to make anything genuinely mystical, and the star aspect is more incidental than anything else.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .